Ointments are widely used to treat various eye problems along with eye drops. Because they go directly into your eye, they can start to work quicker than your regular oral medicine. Eye ointments are medicines in semisolid form. Your body heat makes them melt. Once you apply ointment directly to your eye, it breaks into tiny droplets. These stay in between your eyeball and eyelid for a while. It gives the medicine ample time to work. How to use an antibiotic eye ointment might raise some concerns. So in this article, we will break down everything you need to know.
Eye ointments are generally safe to use. Most people use them when necessary. But they might sting a bit or cause your eyesight to be blurry. That’s why doctors usually suggest using them before bedtime.
What Causes Bacterial Eye Infections?
The most common cause of eye infection is bacterial conjunctivitis. It can quickly spread in places with a lot of people. The usual cases are children in daycare and at school.
Contact-lens related eye infections.
If you use a contact lens in a daily manner, you should know that improper usage can also cause eye problems. Sleeping with contact lenses on and wearing contaminated contact lenses can additionally lead to bacterial eye infections.
Why Do You Need It?
You could also be prescribed an eye ointment for many other reasons. Applying eye ointment can help prevent or treat:
- Acute or long-term eye complications
- Mild to severe eye infections
- Inflammatory conditions
- Soreness, due to dry-eye syndrome
Applying Ophthalmic Ointment
Follow these steps:
- Wash your hands. Make sure your hands are clean before applying the ointment.
- If you are wearing contact lenses, remove them.
- Hold the tube securely in your hand.
- Look above you and tilt your head slightly.
- Hold the tube close within 1 inch from your eye.
- Gently pull down your lower lid to open your eyes a bit more.
- Squeeze a pea-size amount of ointment into your eye.
- Keep looking at the ceiling and gently close your eye for a minute. This helps to absorb the medicine better. Some eye ointments may sting for a moment.
- Wash your hands again.
Your eyesight might be cloudy or blurred after putting on the eye ointment. Some also experience mild redness of your eye. Don’t put too much in, if you don’t want your eyes to feel a bit sticky.
Use clean tissues to wipe off any excess ointment around your eye. Wipe clean the top of the tube before you return the cap as well. The tube should never touch anything to avoid contamination.
Other Important Things You Should Know
- Your eyelashes and eyelids may get sticky after applying the ointment. Use a warm, wet washcloth to clean gently. In case of dried residue, try to wash the area with mild and diluted baby shampoo, then rinse.
- If you usually wear contact lenses, avoid using them until you’re done with your treatment.
- Depending on your case, your doctor may prescribe both eye drops and an ointment. If you need put the eye drops in first, wait for a few minutes before you use the eye ointment
- If you forget a dose, try to apply the ointment as soon as possible.
- Antibiotic eye ointments are supposed to help your eyes feel better. If you’re taking it for some time and notice that your eyes feel worse, consult your doctor immediately.
- Your eye ointment could affect other drugs, vitamins, or natural supplements you’re taking. Make sure to tell your doctor about everything you use regularly.
How Do You Store Antibiotics?
Most antibiotic eye ointments can be stored at room temperature and should be disregarded four weeks after opening. Some antibiotics need to be stored in a fridge, while some brands need to be thrown away after one week. Check with your doctor when you need to discard your eye medication.
Use your antibiotic eye ointment regularly to get the most benefit from it. Try to use it at the same time every day to serve as a reminder. Even if your symptoms already start to disappear after a few days, continue the medication as prescribed by your doctor. Stopping the eye ointment at an earlier time may cause bacteria to continue to grow, which may result in a worse infection. If your condition does not improve in a few days, inform your doctor immediately.
Eye infections can be caused by a lot of factors around you. If not treated right away, it may cause even further damage. So always seek the advice of your doctor and know how to use antibiotic eye ointments properly. Get more tips on first aid.